Gov. Steve Beshear has authorized more than $4 million from coal tax revenue to provide college scholarships to students from Letcher County and eight other counties over the next two years.
In addition to Letcher, the scholarships will be available beginning July 1 to college juniors and seniors from Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Magoffi n, Martin and Pike counties. The scholarships can be used only at the University of Pikeville and Alice Lloyd College as well as off- campus centers operated in the region by Morehead State University, Lindsey Wilson College and Lincoln Memorial University.
Beshear said the so-called Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship Program will help Appalachian students obtain four-year degrees.
Former Gov. Paul Patton, now president at the University of Pikeville, had pressed to use coal tax revenues for college scholarships.
The Letcher Fiscal Court voted 4-1 last week to approve a resolution approving the use of up to $6 million in multi-county severance tax funds to fund the scholarships, which will not be available to students attending Southeast Community and Technical College, which has a campus in Whitesburg. Magistrate Fleming cast the lone no vote.
Compiled from Associated Press and Mountain Eagle reports.